Gates and Knight Foundations Fund New Project to Improve Measuring Media Impact

From Dan Green and Mayur Patel, writing for the Impatient Optimist blog to announce the new Media Impact Project that will be established at the Norman Lear Center, part of the USC Annenberg School of Communications:

Both (the) Knight and Gates Foundation share a belief in the power of informed and engaged communities for many reasons – from strengthening democracy and civil society to helping address some of the world’s most challenging social problems. In this context, the possibilities of learning how storytelling connects people and inspires action are more exciting than ever. There is now a wealth of data generated by people’s consumption and production of digital media that can be used to improve how we understand engagement and when that leads to greater awareness, knowledge and even changes in behavior.

This information gives content creators the opportunity to understand what works and to use that feedback to stay relevant in an environment of rapid change. Yet the tools and approaches we have to measure and analyze this data are underdeveloped.

In the winter of 2011 and spring of 2012, Gates and Knight brought together media practitioners, academics, evaluators and other foundations that fund media to explore these issues further. The group discussed how we define and measure media “engagement” and its effects on individuals and society.

Read the full announcement.